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Court orders popular cleric Daddy Hezekiah to pay bank manager N10m for human rights abuse

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A Federal High Court in Abuja has ordered popular Anambra cleric and founder of Living Christ Mission, Rev. Onokogu Hezekiah (also known as Daddy Hezekiah), to pay N10 million to Polaris Bank manager, Hezekiah Duru, for violating his fundamental human rights.

The cleric had filed a petition against Duru, accusing him of financial misappropriation and breach of trust, which led to Duru’s arrest and detention by the police.

However, Justice D. Okorowo ruled against Daddy Hezekiah and the Nigeria Police Force, stating that the arrest and detention of Duru was a violation of his fundamental human rights, especially since the allegation was already under investigation by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

In the suit: FHC/ABJ/CS/3/2024, Justice D. Okorowo also faulted the warrant order obtained from the Nasarawa State Magistrate Court.

The Court judgment by Justice Okorowo in favour of the Applicant, Duru, reads:

“A declaration is made that the arrest, detention and purported investigation of the Applicant from the 11th day of December 2023 till 29th day of December 2023 by the Respondents on the petition of the 1st Respondent on an allegation of financial misappropriation/embezzlement/cheating/breach of trust already being investigated is an infringement of the Applicant’s right to personal liberty, fair hearing, right to dignity of his person as enshrined in the Constitution of Nigeria 1999 and African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights.

“A declaration is made that the order/warrant for the detention of the Applicant obtained by the Respondents from the Nasarawa State Magistrate Courts is unlawful, an abuse of powers, an abuse of judicial process and an infringement of the Applicant’s right to fair hearing, and personal liberty.

“An Order is made directing the release of the Applicant, Amb. Dr Hezekiah Chinenye Duru forthwith from Police custody.

“An Order of injunction is made restraining the Nigerian police and its officers from arresting, detaining or further violating or doing anything capable of undermining, threatening or interfering with the fundamental rights of the Applicant, His Excellency Amb. Dr. Hezekiah Chinenye Duru.

“An award of 10 Million Naira damages jointly and severally against Rev Onukogu and the Nigerian police, the Inspector General of the Nigerian Police and ACP Asuqou (the officer in Charge of the Special Investigation Unit of the IGP office).”

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Just In: President Tinubu approves N70,000 minimum wage

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President Bola Tinubu has approved N70,000 as the new minimum wage for Nigerian workers with a promise to review the national minimum wage law every three years.

 

More details later…

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Gov. Zulum Clarifies Son’s Purported Killing Of Chinese National At Indian Nightclub

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The Borno State Governor, Babagana Zulum, has denied reports alleging that one of the sons has been arrested and sentenced to prison for the murder of some Indian citizens.

Reports has it that there were unverified rumours, especially on social media platforms, alleging that the first son of the governor, Umar Zulum Umara, killed the Chinese national during a fight at an Indian nightclub.

However, the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on New Media, Abdurrahman Ahmed Bundi, dismissed the reports in a statement on Wednesday.

According to him, no son of the governor was arrested or charged with any crime.

The statement read, “attention of the Borno State Governor’s Media Unit has been drawn to rumours circulating that the son of the Borno State Governor has been arrested for the alleged murder of some Indian citizens.

“This misinformation was published in an online blog, Nairaland, titled “Son of Borno State Governor Murders Someone In India—Politics.” The blog claimed that the Governor also travelled to India, attempting to use diplomatic status to resolve the matter.

“It is on record that Governor Babagana Zulum was on a one-month vacation in Saudi Arabia for the 2024 Hajj and later travelled to Egypt to attend the annual ASUWAN forum conference in Cairo.

“The Media Unit would like to clarify and set the record straight that Nairaland and other online blogs have mischievously spread defamatory content without any speck of truth.

“We hereby warned Nairaland and all those who have spread the false information to pull down this misinformation from its website and platforms within the next 24 hours and offer an unreserved apology to Governor Zulum, his son, and the entire family, or risk legal action. The Governor shall also not hesitate to take legal action against any media outlet that continues to publicise this defamatory information on its platform.

“We would like to inform the public that none of Governor’s Zulum’s son was either arrested or charged with any crime, or involved in any unlawful activities anywhere.

“We urge the public to exercise caution when consuming and sharing information, particularly when it comes from unverified sources and blogs instead of credible media outlets.

“We enjoin all media organisations to engage in responsible journalism of truth and factual verification while recognising the potential harm and psychological trauma the spread of false information might have caused to the Governor’s family.”

 

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Over 600,000 Nigerians sought asylum abroad under Buhari – Report

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Over 600,000 Nigerians filed for asylum in other countries between 2016 and 2023, which were years under the administration of former President Muhammadu Buhari.

Buhari was President from 2015 to 2023 and handed over to President Bola Tinubu who was sworn in on May 29, 2023, after winning in the general elections the same year.

According to a report released on Wednesday, July 17, 2024, by Statisense, a data collection organisation, of a total of 664,384 in eight years, 355,792 persons sought asylum between 2016 and 2019 while 308,592 sought asylum between 2020 and 2023.

On a year-by-year basis, 66,862 sought asylum in 2016, 91,924 in 2017, 84,624 (2018), 112,382 (2019), 73,233 (2020), 83,105 (2021), 83,402 (2022), and 68,852 in 2023.

The figures indicate a surge from the past years, as Statisense noted that within 12 years – 2004 to 2015 – only 204,791 Nigerians filed for asylum in other countries.

In total, 869,175 Nigerians filed for asylum in the last 20 years, notably from 2004 to 2023.

The report was posted on the organisation’s X.com handle @StatiSense, citing the United Nations Refugee Agency.

In another report shared by the organisation on Wednesday, it was stated that the Republic of Niger topped countries with the most Nigerian refugees in 2023 with about 200,497 Nigerians and a total of 1,268,464 Nigerian refugees between 2015 and 2023.

Niger, a border country, shares proximity with Nigeria’s north, where residents battle a spate of insecurity in the region ranging from banditry, terrorism and herdsmen-farmers crisis.

Another report also revealed that Nigerians topped the list of African countries who sought asylum in Canada in 2023 with about 10,111 asylum seekers followed by Kenya with 1,345.  It stated that 1,345 Nigerians however sought asylum in the United Kingdom and 5,136 in the United States of America.

Source: The Punch

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